(No) Time to think

My new job surprisingly involves a new commute. Instead of 15 minutes on a bike I now have 30-60 minutes in a car.

But it ‘s a pleasant journey. There’s 25 minutes of Mulholland Drive:


Followed by 15 minutes of the slightly less pleasant 405 freeway:


Anyway, I now have a couple of hours to ‘kill’, which I obliterate in devastating style by listening to Howard Stern. However, when he starts to get a little dull and the traffic slows sufficiently I actually get out my phone and check Twitter. Yes, I understand that is somewhat crazy and irresponsible behaviour, but it’s OK, I have a quote from Louis CK and and an article from the NY Times to back me up (thanks, W):

“Sometimes when things clear away and you’re not watching anything and you’re in your car and you start going, oh no, here it comes, that I’m alone, and it starts to visit on you, just this sadness,” he said. “And that’s why we text and drive. People are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second because it’s so hard.”

OK, from my own POV the whole thing feels a bit of a reach. I, like many other people, like to use my phone in quiet moments, but generally this is as a form of entertainment: there are articles and books to be read, amusing links to be clicked on, opinions to disagree with… I also occasionally read while eating breakfast or ‘making stool’. Am I depressed and unable to be alone with my thoughts? I don’t think so. When it comes to the one time I really am alone with my thoughts – i.e. the minutes before I drop off to sleep – I don’t go to dark places. I tend to think nice thoughts about how aspects of my life might become better than they are now. Sure, if I have a problem on my mind I may well try to solve it, but my default mind state isn’t a pit of despair.

Maybe that’s just fine for me and the rest of you are wallowing in an effluence of unending misery. Are you? Do you try to keep the horrors at bay with a few games of Angry Bird or Threes (Threes is really fucking good, BTW)? What about when you make stool or drive a car (or make stool while driving a car – those jams on the 405 can get pretty lengthy, you know)?

Where do you go when you’re (*gulp*) truly alone?